Arsenal has been the definition of mediocre during the 2020-21 English Premier League season, recording 10 wins, 10 losses and four draws. However, Mikel Arteta’s side has been a powerhouse in the UEFA Europa League as they’ve outscored their opponents 20-5 while winning all six of their group stage games. Arsenal attempts to continue rolling over the competition when it faces Benfica in the first leg of the 2021 UEFA Europa League Round of 32 on Thursday. The Gunners ended a three-game winless streak with their 4-2 triumph over Leeds in the Premier League on Sunday.
Benfica vs. Arsenal is one of 16 first-leg matches on Thursday, with the second leg of the 2021 UEFA Europa League Round of 32 taking place next week. Dynamo Kiev vs. Brugge opens the slate at 10 a.m. ET, followed by eight matches at 12:55 p.m. ET and seven at 3 p.m. ET. Before locking in your 2021 UEFA Europa League picks for Arsenal vs. Benfica or any other match on Thursday, make sure you see what SportsLine’s European soccer guru Martin Green has to say.
After working in the sports betting industry for several years, Green became a professional sports writer and handicapper. Since then, his European soccer picks have been spot-on. In fact, Green has generated over $16,900 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season.
Now, Green has analyzed Thursday’s UEFA Europa League action and locked in his top picks. He’s sharing his best bets only at SportsLine.
Top Europa League predictions for Thursday, Feb. 18
One of Green’s best bets for Thursday: He’s backing Leicester City (+110) to win its match against Slavia Prague at 12:55 p.m. ET. The Foxes have yet to lose this month, posting two shutout wins and a scoreless draw in the Premier League while defeating Brighton 1-0 in the fifth round of the English FA Cup on Feb. 10. Leicester City, which finished atop Group G with 13 points, last played when it registered a 3-1 victory over Liverpool on Saturday.
The Foxes were powered by their top three goal scorers in that match, as Jamie Vardy (14), Harvey Barnes (12) and James Maddison (10) all found the back of the net. Slavia Prague finished second in Group D with 12 points after completing the group stage with a 4-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen that ended its four-game winning streak.
“Leicester City should be full of confidence,” Green told SportsLine. “(It) is now third in the Premier League standings, and it is one of the best teams in the Europa League this season.”
How to make Europa League picks for Thursday, Feb. 18
Green also is high on a team that is in the midst of a lengthy unbeaten streak and “has dangerous forwards.” He has discovered a critical X-factor that has him backing this club and is only sharing who it is over at SportsLine.
So what are the Europa League best bets for Thursday? And what critical X-factor makes one team a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get the top picks for the UEFA Europa League, all from the expert who has generated over $16,900 since the 2017-18 season.